How Will You Increase Your Self Sufficiency This Year?
By: Tom Chatham
It is always good to reevaluate your position to identify any lapses in your plan or resources. What will you add to your supplies this year to improve your self sufficiency? It helps to plan ahead especially if you are working with a tight budget. This can allow you to buy a major piece of equipment when you might think it is not possible. By thinking ahead to the end of the year and deciding what you want to add to your supplies or resources this year, you will improve your situation rather than let it stagnate or deteriorate.
It does not matter how much you decide to spend on items this year. Every thing you get increases your position. You may buy several things or just one but it is important that you constantly work toward some goal that you have set for the future. It may be a two week supply of food or a small garden. It might be the ability to can your own vegetables or produce your own power in an emergency. This is your life and you need to set the standards for what you expect from yourself. In the end you are responsible for the position you may find yourself in. The ability to come through it safe and happy is mostly up to you. The following are some of the things you may want to think about as you decide how to proceed.
To become more food secure you don’t need to buy two years worth of food all at once and at a time when you can ill afford to. All you need to do is increase your excess food reserve by buying a few extra cans or packages of food every week and add to your supplies over time. You may want to buy some plastic buckets to store some of your food in to keep it fresh and rodent free.
Regardless of where you live it does not take a lot of space to buy and store some food production essentials. These may be things you can use now or later. Things such as seeds, canning supplies or garden tools are items you can slowly accumulate over time to increase your production and storage capabilities.
It is never a bad time to learn to barter. You can locate a barter group near you and identify certain items that are easily tradable now or in the future if supplies are cut off for some reason. Having a barter connection will provide a backdoor to get what you may need if things take a turn for the worse. Now is a good time to store extra barter supplies while they are easily assessable in the market place.
Energy makes the world go round. It is difficult to live in modern society without some form of energy to make life easier. What type of energy do you rely on the most and how can you store some to insure an available supply if the economy gets worse or a disaster strikes? It may be as simple as storing a few cans of gasoline in your garage in the event you cannot buy any. It may be the purchase of a few solar panels, a few deep cycle batteries and a power inverter to insure you can maintain refrigeration and minimal lighting during an extended power outage. It may be a wood stove and supply of wood to insure you can keep your family warm if the power is out for an extended time in winter weather.
Water is a vital element and one that is easily lost during some type of disaster. It may be wise to at least have a water filter to produce clean water in an emergency. You may be able to drill a well or develop a water source independent of the local water authority. You may want to have water storage containers on hand to store sufficient amounts for long durations.
Clothing is something many people think little of until they need it and cannot get anything. It is more of a necessity in winter than in warmer climates or locations. The economic situation today and the constant inflation could impact your ability to get clothing in the future. If you loose your job or your paycheck just does not keep up with rising prices you may find yourself in want of clothing you cannot get. Do you have the equipment or knowledge to repair your clothing to make it last longer? Do you have the means to make clothing from scratch? It is not that difficult to buy a few extra things now and store them for future use to insure you have what you need in the event of future hardship.
What will you do if you suddenly lose your primary shelter? What will you do if the current economic situation gets much worse and you need to maintain your current shelter with the supplies you have on hand? Most people give little thought to this type of scenario. Having a backup shelter of some type or a plan to get to another shelter may be necessary at some point. Having a few repair supplies to fix a broken window or a leaky roof may be lifesaving in a disaster.
What would you do if your vehicle suddenly stopped working along with everyone else’s? What would you do if energy supplies were suddenly curtailed or cut off completely? Having an alternate transportation system may be necessary depending on your situation. A bike, a boat or canoe or some type of alternate energy source for your vehicle will give you something to fall back on when the time comes. It may be a supply of fuel or something like a wood gas producer that you decide is best for your situation.
The current economic situation will likely get worse before it gets any better. If you suddenly lose your primary source of income what will you do? It is always good to have some money set aside for such circumstances but that may not be enough. Do you have an alternate plan to make some money? Do you have special equipment you can use to earn money? Do you have skills you can utilize to start your own side business? A little time and thought put into this now can pay big dividends in the future if it is ever needed.
When the economy gets bad, the security situation deteriorates as well. It is good to know the police will come when called but will they get there in time to actually help you? It is always good to have your own security plan to protect your family until help arrives. It may be as simple as a can of bear repellant or something more potent such as a gun. If you have a weapon you may lay in extra bullets or cleaning supplies. There is always something you can add to your supplies to improve your chances of survival when things go wrong.
These are just some of the things you may want to consider. It is always helpful to sit down and think about your future wants and list the items you may need to get you there. Being self sufficient is a big job and it does not happen overnight. Having a list to keep you on track is very helpful and makes planning for future purchases easier. The longer your planning horizon is the more likely you will be able to work in the larger purchases to fulfill your dreams. Planning is always the first step to doing. So, what will you do this year to move toward a more self sufficient lifestyle?